Hello, I’m Annika!


I’m a girl with messy hair and a thirsty heart who likes to be anywhere but home. After having lived in New York and South Africa for many years, I now call the world home because I love one thing more than drinking wine or scuba diving – traveling.

I like luxury and adventure travel equally, for me, it is all about the experience, and I don’t really care about labels. Wherever I go, I like to find Nemo and sharks aka scuba diving. I don’t care for walks in the park, but I like hikes through a jungle, urban or other. I love eating street food and washing it down with champagne (well, to be honest, that only happens on special occasions). I want to sleep in hotel beds with too many pillows and on hard Thai mattresses in a bamboo hut, listen to the sounds of crickets to fall asleep to and take showers under the stars.

I started this blog, The Midnight Blue Elephant because I am a bit of a truffle pig when it comes to finding places where you can do all of the above and love passing on tips on traveling somewhere between luxury and adventure. Also, I tell funny stories (at least for a German or so I was told), and that’s why I’m here. Want to come along for the ride?!

I am also a newly published author of a book that I call “baby elephant.” Its official name is Solo Trip, and you can find the German version on Amazon here and the English e-book in my shop. It is – if I may say so myself – a great resource for new solo travelers with lots of practical tips, advice, and inspiration.

I also write for various publications, on- and offline, in German and in English and you can see some examples of my work here.




Some stats about me:


Full name: Annika Ziehen. Ziehen means to pull in German which some people think is hilarious.

Age: Don’t be rude, that is not a question to ask a woman! I am thirty-something, let’s leave it at that.

Accomplishments so far:

  • Degree in Advertising & Marketing Communications from FIT, New York
  • PADI Divemaster
  • Author of one real published book
  • Maker of rather delicious pizza

Likes: pasta, giraffes and sharks, sun and ocean, massages, being the first person off the plane

Dislikes: too ripe bananas, celery, people who get off an escalator and just stop in their tracks